Monthly Archives: November 2012

Reward Chart


We want to reward our children for helping around the home and for developing the skills to care for themselves.  In a big family, systems and routine are necessary to keep home running smoothly.  The fact that my home doesn’t run smoothly points a big finger at me, namely my extreme dislike of maintaining systems.  So, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a system the children can manage – all on their own.  Hooray!


Here’s how the reward chart works.  My children can earn 5 stars a day by completing tasks around the home.  5 stars in one day earns you a point – and 5 points in a week earns you a prize from the prize bag.  Because we do expect a lot of our older children, the prizes are things they think are super cool like DVDs, colouring books, picture books, small Star Wars lego sets etc.  Basically if we’re out shopping and we see something they’d like, it goes in the prize bag and it can be earned.


Reward Charts

Here’s how I made them.

My inspiration came from a key holder I saw in the craft section at Bunnings.  A bit of paint, and some fabric stuck down (with watered down PVA glue – as good as Mod Podge) makes it pretty.


Next I drew a picture of the tasks I’d like my children to do for me. I really tried to find what I wanted online, but the images weren’t exactly what I wanted.  I’m not the best at drawing, but these are good enough for me.



I cut them up and glued them to cardstock.  One side has the task, the other has a star.  I laminated them, punched a hole in them and attached a key ring.




Here’s a box full of different tasks.  Mostly it’s tidying different areas of the house.  The areas they use and mess up!




So, the idea is that they pick out tasks (or I can always assign some to them) and once they complete them, they turn the task to the star side.  I can check up to see what they have done by flipping the tag over.   The reward chart is self-completing, and I’m not the “self” completing it any more!  Phew!




Note: Special tags

I have created 2 special tags for the children.  One is a morning routine and the other is our afternoon routine.  To earn a star for those, there are a series of tasks to do.  These are all visually represented, and attached to a single key ring.  They can flip through the pictures to stay on track.  Morning jobs include: breakfast, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, pack school bag.  Afternoon jobs include: School bag away, lunchbox on kitchen bench, uniform away, put on play clothes, homework.

This morning the girl’s morning jobs were done in record timing.  They were outside playing in the rock pit at 7:20am.  Certainly record timing for getting ready!

Now to find a place to put them up!


What kind of reward, chore or job chart do you use?  How does it work?





Homemade Laundry Liquid


After trialling a friend’s batch of homemade laundry liquid in my front loader, I decided it was worth making some.  I wash AT LEAST two loads per day, and I’d never really given much thought to how much I was spending on laundry liquid.   Based on the brand I was using before, I was forking out $72.50 for 10L.  Making it myself, 10L now costs me $3.57!

My initial hesitations were whether it would clean as well as commercial brands, and if it would be safe for use in a front loader.  I can happily say yes and yes!  I washed my daughter’s white dress with pen marks on it (she’s not meant to use pens, but…) I didn’t pre-treat it – I just threw it in with a regular load.  It came out white, pen marks gone!   I attribute this to using Sard Wonder Soap in the recipe.  It’s a great stain remover.  This recipe does not create a lot of suds, so it is safe to use in a front loader.

I got my recipe from Rhonda at Down to Earth.  Here’s the process I used:

Homemade Laundry Liquid

1/2 bar of Sard Wonder Soap (bought from Woolworths)

1/2 bar of another soap (I used a soap I was given as a gift a few years ago)

1/2 cup of washing soda (bought from Woolworths)

1/2 cup of borax (bought from Coles)

10 Simple Steps 

1.  Grate soaps in a food processor.  Or by hand.  (If you can avoid grating by hand, do it!)

2.  Put 1L of water in a saucepan on a medium heat (1L = 4cups)

3.  Add soap, soda & borax.

4. Stir until dissolved.

5.  Fill a big nappy bucket with 9L of water.

6.  Add contents from saucepan.

7.  Stir until you’re happy it’s combined.

8.  Using a funnel, fill containers with the mix.  Leave 3 – 4 cm gap at the top.

9.  The mix will separate (don’t be alarmed, it’s normal), and you’ll need to give it a really vigorous shake before using.

10.  Pour 1/4 of a cup (or about 60mls) into your washing machine dispenser.

It’s that simple!

A few notes.

Don’t leave it in the bucket overnight – it will gel up and be a pain to put in bottles.  Once it’s cooled down and you’re satisfied it’s mixed thoroughly, fill your containers while the mix is in a liquid state.  I used a cup measure and a funnel to fill mine up.

It’s up to you what kind of containers you use to store your laundry liquid.  I have used 2L white vinegar bottles, soft drink bottles, old laundry detergent bottles – basically bits and bobs I collected in readiness for the project.  The vinegar bottles are my favourite because they have a handle which make shaking really easy. I’m going to collect 6 of these all up, and use them each time I make a new batch.  I’ll probably go OTT and make a cute label for them too.  I’m like that…

Your containers will end up with 2 layers once left overnight.  There will be a creamy white gel-like layer at the top, and a clear layer at the bottom.  Give a vigorous shake before each use to recombine all ingredients.   You must leave room in each container to be able to shake it up!

This laundry liquid is not overly fragrant.  If your second soap was highly perfumed, maybe that would make a difference.  I found that the smell of the Sard soap overpowered the other one I used.  So, the laundry liquid has a light ecualyptus scent.

Using  2L or 3L bottles allows you to experiment with adding different fragrances until you stumble on a mix that you like.  I have tried adding Lavender essential oil in one bottle and Eucalyptus in another.   I’m uncertain how much you’d need to use to get a strong fragrance.  I’ll update this down the track once I have finished experimenting.

Are the savings you can make using homemade laundry liquid worth giving it a try?  Let me know how you go!